LSU Libraries’ Special Collections Division Contributes to “Abolitionist Map of America” for PBS Documentary Series

01/15/2013 02:37 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division has partnered with the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, documentary program “American Experience” to contribute material to the “Abolitionist Map of America.” This interactive website explores events, characters and locations connected to the anti-slavery movement, one of the most important civil rights crusades in American history.


The map is an extension of the three-part series “The Abolitionists,” which airs on Tuesdays through Jan. 22 on PBS.


LSU joins dozens of museums, libraries, archives and PBS member stations in populating the map with geo-tagged historical photos and documents, as well as video clips from the series. Individuals are also invited to upload their own content with the goal of creating a map that reflects the movement’s mark on the nation.


Among materials contributed by LSU Libraries is an engraving of Solomon Northrop. Born free in the North, Northrop was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. A narrative of his experiences, titled “Twelve Years a Slave,” was originally published in 1853 and became a bestseller. Other items include several antislavery newspapers published in New York that were once owned by Mississippi planter John Quitman, one of the most outspoken opponents of abolition.


To view the map, or to learn more about “The Abolitionists,” visit the “American Experience” website at


The map is being managed and promoted by “American Experience” Special Projects Assistant Casey Davis, who recently earned her master’s degree in library and information science from LSU. Davis now works for WGBH, the PBS affiliate in Boston. Davis explains her role in an entry on the program's blog site. The entry can be viewed at


In 1985, the LSU Libraries organized the Special Collections division to administer the rare books, manuscripts and other special research collections already held by the libraries. The division’s principal mission is to preserve these collections, add to them and make them available for use. Special Collections offers resources for original research in many fields, ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences, agriculture, aquaculture, the fine arts and design. For more information, visit

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013